Over Half of Americans Believe in Love at First Sight

by Darren K. Carlson

Younger Americans more likely to say they believe

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- February 14, St. Valentine's Day, is a significant day in American society -- a day when people use cards, flowers and chocolates to express their love for that special someone. While no one has quite figured out why we fall in love, people are happy to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic. What does America think about love?

In Gallup polls conducted in February of 2000, just over half of American adults (52%) said they believed in "love at first sight," while 47% of the public said they did not. Younger Americans are more prone to such a belief -- 60% of people between ages 18 and 29 said they believed in love at first sight, compared to 56% of 30-49 year olds and just 43% of those over age 50.

When Gallup asked about people's past romantic behavior, it found that four in 10 Americans say they have actually fallen in love at first sight, while another 59% say they have not. Men are slightly more likely than women to say they have fallen in love at first sight (44% to 36%). Perhaps not surprisingly, belief in this concept is strongly related to people's memories of past behavior. Among those who said they believe, almost 70% also said they had actually fallen in love at first sight, while just 29% said they had not.

Seeking Soul Mates
Almost three-quarters of Americans said they believed in "one true love," while 24% said they did not. Perhaps education creates some skepticism, as 56% of those with post-graduate education said they believed in one true love, compared to 67% of college graduates, and 80% of those with a high school education or less.

Survey Methods

The results below are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,018 adults, 18 years and older, conducted February 4-6, 2000. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you believe in love at first sight, or not?

 

 

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 Feb 4-6

52%

47

1



Have you ever fallen in love at first sight, or not?

 

 

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 Feb 4-6

40%

59

1



Do you believe in the "one true love" or not?

 

 

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 Feb 4-6

74%

24

2



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